Color Management in GIMP

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Apart from calibrating your monitor, you can install an updated driver to get rid of problems with color rendition and brightness in your prints. Generally speaking, the home printer and photo printer can't be calibrated. This option is only available for professional printers. Nevertheless, with the help of color profiles, most printers can be adjusted to the color rendition of monitors/ programs. This is where color management is necessary in GIMP. Since GIMP 2.4, it is a standard feature.

You can find the Color Management settings (Edit > Preferences) in the image window. GIMP doesn't have color profiles in its program. If you want to use color profiles in GIMP, you can load them into the program via Preferences: Color Management. From the respective drop-down menu, for instance the one at RGB profile (see figure 2.33), choose Select Color Profile from Disk and search your computer for the color profile. In Windows, you will find this under C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\color, and in Mac OS X, under Applications/Utilities/ColorSync/Profiles.

The sRGB color profile is optimized for gamma 2.2 and a color temperature of 6500 Kelvin (D65) and hence for your monitor, for the Web, and for photo prints. AdobeRGB could be better for printing your pictures from your PC.



Users who have installed Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements can use the Adobe color profiles in GIMP. If you are interested in using Adobe RGB, you can download the Adobe RGB and CMYK profiles for Windows and Mac OS from Adobe's website at, toward the bottom of the page.

In summary, your best choice is to set up your monitor and GIMP with the sRGB color profile. The gamma value will be 2.2 (also for Mac) and the color temperature is set to D65 (6500 K). If your prints still deviate from how they look on your monitor, you can try the following:

• Update your printer driver.

• Calibrate your monitor with the previously mentioned programs.

Figure 2.33

GIMP's color management settings

Figure 2.33

GIMP's color management settings o

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